With a population of around 52,000, Cumbernauld has some of the highest areas of multiple deprivation in Scotland, but it is also one of the greenest towns in the country, with over 50% of the town being greenspace.
Cumbernauld Living Landscape brings different landowners in the town together to develop volunteer-led conservation. It works to enhance and protect the biodiversity of sites across the town by involving the community, local groups and schools in both decision-making and the practical management of local greenspaces. This has also helped to raise community awareness and ensure more people can benefit from nature through volunteering.
The initiative includes:
- Scottish Wildlife Trust
- North Lanarkshire Council
- The Conservation Volunteers
- Sanctuary Scotland Housing Association
- The James Hutton Institute.
Cumbernauld Living Landscape is working with people of all ages through the ‘Creating Natural Connections’ project. Promoting the great work of their many volunteers has inspired more people to join their volunteer group, ‘Nature Ninjas,’ which includes a wide range of members of the local community – from families with young children, teenagers, people who are not in employment and wanting to develop new skills, people who are able to help out at weekends, to retirees.
The initiative has planted more than 12,000 native trees with the help of its volunteers. New wildflower meadows have been sown and managed, and work is also planned to help restore peat bog habitat in the area, as well as wetlands, to help improve the town’s flood resilience.